A natural man

(For a long spell, since turning my politics rightward about a decade ago, I have been a bit perplexed by my aversion to some elements of traditional conservatism. 

(This column clears it up for me. It was written by two young men, Milo Yiannopoulos, the self-described “dangerous faggot,” and Allum Bokhari, a Breitbart correspondent who lives in London. Yiannopoulos is also British-born.

(You may have heard of the Alt-Right, the alternative right. There are two versions of the Alt-Right, the extreme and the moderate. The latter makes sense to me.  The former does not. Fortunately, the moderate wing is far more populated.

(I am pleased to come out as a “natural conservative” and, it appears, a moderate Alt-Righter.)

* * * *

NATURAL CONSERVATIVES are mostly white, mostly male, middle-American radicals, who are unapologetically embracing a new identity politics that prioritizes the interests of their own demographic.

In their politics, these new conservatives are only following their natural instincts — the same instincts that motivate conservatives across the globe.

milo
Milo

Noted social psychologist Jonathan Haidt described the conservative instinct in his 2012 book The Righteous Mind.

The conservative instinct, as described by Haidt, includes a preference for homogeneity over diversity, for stability over change, and for hierarchy and order over radical egalitarianism.

Their instinctive wariness of the foreign and the unfamiliar is an instinct that we all share – an evolutionary safeguard against excessive, potentially perilous curiosity – but natural conservatives feel it with more intensity.

They instinctively prefer familiar societies, familiar norms, and familiar institutions.

An establishment Republican, with their overriding belief in the glory of the free market, might be moved to tear down a cathedral and replace it with a strip mall if it made economic sense. Such an act would horrify a natural conservative.

Immigration policy follows a similar pattern: by the numbers, cheap foreign workers on H1B visas make perfect economic sense. But natural conservatives have other concerns: chiefly, the preservation of their own tribe and its culture.

For natural conservatives, culture, not economic efficiency, is the paramount value. More specifically, they value the greatest cultural expressions of their tribe.

Their perfect society does not necessarily produce a soaring GDP, but it does produce symphonies, basilicas and Old Masters. The natural conservative tendency within the Alt-Right points to these apotheoses of western European culture and declares them valuable and worth preserving and protecting.

Needless to say, natural conservatives’ concern with the flourishing of their own culture comes up against an intractable nemesis in the regressive left, which is currently intent on tearing down statues of Cecil Rhodes and Queen Victoria in the UK, and erasing the name of Woodrow Wilson from Princeton in the United States.

These attempts to scrub Western history of its great figures are particularly galling to the Alt-Right, who in addition to the preservation of Western culture, care deeply about heroes and heroic virtues.

This follows decades in which left-wingers on campus sought to remove the study of “dead white males” from the focus of Western history and literature curricula.

An establishment conservative might be mildly irked by such behavior as they switch between the State of the Union and the business channels, but to a natural conservative, such cultural vandalism may just be their highest priority.

In fairness, many establishment conservatives aren’t keen on this stuff either — but the Alt-Right would argue that they’re too afraid of being called “racist” to seriously fight against it. Which is why they haven’t.

Certainly, the rise of Donald Trump, perhaps the first truly cultural candidate for president since Buchanan, suggests grassroots appetite for more robust protection of the Western European and American way of life.

* * * *

The rise of Donald Trump suggests grassroots appetite for more robust protection of the Western European and American way of life.

* * * *

Alt-Righters describe establishment conservatives who care more about the free market than preserving Western culture, and who are happy to endanger the latter with mass immigration where it serves the purposes of big business, as “cuckservatives.”

Halting, or drastically slowing, immigration is a major priority for the Alt-Right. While eschewing bigotry on a personal level, the movement is frightened by the prospect of demographic displacement represented by immigration.

The Alt-Right do not hold a Utopian view of the human condition: just as they are inclined to prioritize the interests of their tribe, they recognize that other groups – Mexicans, African-Americans or Muslims – do the same.

As communities become comprised of different peoples, the culture and politics of those communities become an expression of their constituent peoples.

You’ll often encounter doomsday rhetoric in Alt-Right online communities: that’s because many instinctively feel that once large enough and ethnically distinct enough groups are brought together, they will inevitably come to blows.

In short, they doubt that full “integration” is ever possible. If it is, it won’t be successful in the “Kumbaya” sense. Border walls are a much safer option.

The Alt-Right’s intellectuals would also argue that culture is inseparable from race.

The Alt-Right believe that some degree of separation between peoples is necessary for a culture to be preserved.

guy
Allum

A Mosque next to an English street full of houses bearing the flag of St. George, according to Alt-Righters, is neither an English street nor a Muslim street — separation is necessary for distinctiveness.

Some Alt-Righters make a more subtle argument.

They say that when different groups are brought together, the common culture starts to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Instead of mosques or English houses, you get atheism and stucco.

Ironically, it’s a position that has much in common with leftist opposition to so-called “cultural appropriation,” a similarity openly acknowledged by the Alt-Right.

It’s arguable that natural conservatives haven’t had real political representation for decades.

Since the 1980s, establishment Republicans have obsessed over economics and foreign policy, fiercely defending the Reagan-Thatcher economic consensus at home and neoconservative interventionism abroad.

In matters of culture and morality, the issues that natural conservatives really care about, all territory has been ceded to the Left, which now controls the academy, the entertainment industry and the press.

For those who believe in the late Andrew Breitbart’s dictum that politics is downstream from culture, the number of writers, political candidates and media personalities who actually believe that culture is the most important battleground can be dispiriting.

Natural liberals, who instinctively enjoy diversity and are happy with radical social change – so long as it’s in an egalitarian direction – are now represented by both sides of the political establishment.

Natural conservatives, meanwhile, have been slowly abandoned by Republicans — and other conservative parties in other countries. Having lost faith in their former representatives, they now turn to new ones — Donald Trump and the alternative right.

There are principled objections to the tribal concerns of the Alt-Right, but Establishment conservatives have tended not to express them, instead turning nasty in the course of their panicked backlash.

National Review writer Kevin Williamson, in a recent article attacking the sort of voters who back Trump, said that white working-class communities “deserve to die.”

Although the Alt-Right consists mostly of college-educated men, it sympathizes with the white working classes and, based on our interviews, feels a sense of noblesse oblige. National Review has been just as directly unpleasant about the Alt-Right as it has, on occasion, been about white Americans in general.

In response to concerns from white voters that they’re going to go extinct, the response of the Establishment — the conservative Establishment — has been to openly welcome that extinction.

It’s true that Donald Trump would not be possible without the oppressive hectoring of the progressive Left, but the entire media is to blame for the environment in which this new movement has emerged.

For decades, the concerns of those who cherish Western culture have been openly ridiculed and dismissed as racist.

The Alt-Right is the inevitable result.

No matter how silly, irrational, tribal or even hateful the Establishment may think the Alt-Right’s concerns are, they can’t be ignored, because they aren’t going anywhere.

As Haidt reminds us, their politics is a reflection of their natural inclinations.

In other words, the Left can’t language-police and name-call them away, which have for the last twenty years been the only progressive responses to dissent, and the Right can’t snobbishly dissociate itself from them and hope they go away either.

Take this and that!

THESE TWO gals are a real hoot. I wish they were rooting for Ted Cruz instead of The Donald, but whatever …

For those of you who don’t know what this is about, National Review, the old-school conservative magazine, recently did a hit issue on Donald Trump.

Kitchens, Commies, etc.

kitchen

WHEN THE pastry workshop was completed in February, we thought all was done, but it decidedly was not. There was the matter of the stove.

We had purchased what seemed to be a serviceable stove made by Whirlpool, but it was anything but serviceable. The oven would not hold a constant temperature. Finally, after numerous visits by Whirlpool “technicians,” a woeful misnomer in this case, the store where we bought it — Coppel — took it back and refunded most of the money.

Bizarrely, we learned the oven has no thermostat. How can an oven have no thermostat? Apparently, this is becoming more common, which explains the new models that have no temps on the dial, just temperature ranges, or they simply say 1, 2, 3, 4.

An oven with no thermostat is like a car with no steering wheel.

So off we went to Liverpool in the state capital, spent almost three times the cash, and two weeks later we had a lovely appliance called i/o Mabe, which is the high-end line of the popular Mabe brand. It has many bells and whistles, and my wife is happy.

The i/o Mabe has a thermostat.

* * * *

New website

I have combined and edited the three-part series from some days back called Newspaper Days, made it one website, and added it to the Bookmark list in the right-side column. FYI.

* * * *

Election approaches

On June 7, we Mexicans go to the polls, the midterms. One of the many sweet aspects to being a Mexican citizen is that I can vote, canceling out the time and trouble at least one Mexican leftist takes to mark his ballot. This is swell. I wish I could cancel out even more than one.

There are 10 official political parties in Mexico, which is both good and bad. The bad is that we risk becoming like Italy. The good is that it’s fun to have options.

I read the official websites of most of them, skipping only the Workers Party because you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know where a party stands when its emblem is a yellow star in a Red circle and the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) because I am already familiar with it. The oligarchic PRI ran Mexico for about 70 years, stifling opposition.

pan-logoI am a PAN man, the National Action Party. This is the long-time conservative party, and I only deviate from it (to the PRI) in special cases. I voted for PRI’s presidential candidate, Enrique Peña Nieto, three years ago because the PAN candidate stood no chance, and I did not want the leftist PRD candidate to win.

Our political parties contain some odd birds. The Encuentro Social are evangelicals. The Humanistas are, of course, Humanists. Perhaps the strangest of all is the Green Party, which is actually an arm of the PRI. The international Green movement excommunicated our Greens some years back because our Greens supported the death penalty for kidnappers.

Our Greens have backtracked on that, now advocating life prison terms for kidnappers instead of execution. I prefer execution. Color me old Mexican Green in this detail.

The Greens will promise absolutely anything. Free schooling. Free medicine. If it sounds good, they promise it. It’s outrageous. They have chutzpah.

A relatively new party is the Morena, the brown people’s party. Morena means brown-skinned in Mexico. It is the invention of the perpetual loser, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, commonly known as AMLO. He is a demagogue who has bounced about in different parties, and now has formed a new one, a blatant racial call since 90 percent of Mexicans are brown

May he continue his losing streak.

* * * *

Drawing Mohammed

Let us now turn to the Mohammed cartoon contest, which I supported. It was appalling to see so many talking heads, even on the right, including my man Bill O’Reilly of Fox News, going wishy-washy on Pamela Gellar’s courageous contest in Garland, Texas.

David Frum, writing in The Atlantic magazine said this:

mohammed“When vigilantes try to enforce the tenets of a faith by violence, then it becomes a civic obligation to stand up to them.” 

And Charles C.W. Cooke, writing in the National Review:

“There can be only two possible outcomes to this fight: Either Americans will eventually learn that they should not provoke radical Muslims, and thus that self-censorship is the order of the day, or radical Muslims will learn not to be provoked. Whether they have intended to or not, those who have proposed that Pamela Geller and her ilk should voluntarily refrain from provoking Islam’s discontents have run the risk of tacitly endorsing the former outcome.”

Let us continue to provoke them. And shooting them dead when appropriate.